How do you modify child support after a Pennsylvania divorce?
After a Pennsylvania divorce – or before or during one for that matter – if circumstances change for either parent, such as an increase, decrease or loss or gain of income or the needs of a child, a parent can always seek change from its local (where the child resides) Court system.
If one takes time and thinks carefully and practically about this, supporting one’s children and getting or being married or divorced can be legally unrelated. If one has a kid, Mom and Dad need not be married or divorced to have the responsibility to support the child.
While it is true that most full-service, in-office appointment law firms automatically include the custody and support of minor children in all of the divorce cases they handle, Pennsylvania law absolutely does NOT require that your children even be mentioned in a Pennsylvania divorce action.
Married or divorced, the couple are still parents with the rights and duties that go along with that station in life, but we’re limiting this discussion to the possibility of child support be changed after a Pennsylvania divorce has been granted and is over. Several scenarios are possible, each before, during or after the divorce. There may have been Court-ordered child support or the couple may have entered a written agreement for child support or the couple may have worked it out without a court order or agreement… just on a handshake, so to speak.
At any time, circumstance regarding the need for child support can change. The income of either party may increase or decrease. The specific needs of a child may increase or decrease. A party may lose a job or a formerly unemployed party may find a job. A child may become emancipated by “aging out” or, rarely, by legal action. One of several children being supported may suffer an untimely death. Our Courts have heard and seen it all, including circumstances that defy imagination. Any of them can result in the parties agreeing to a modification of support or going into Court to attempt to have support modified by Court Order.
The thing to keep in mind is that the Court is always there to work to obtain what is best for children whenever there is a significant change in circumstances, before, during or after marriage and/or divorce.